New requirements approved by the City of El Paso require the installation and maintenance of street trees in all thoroughfare planting strips, as well as parking lot landscaping, and landscape buffers for auto-oriented development. New landscaped areas must include drought-tolerant, desert-appropriate plantings. The ordinance is different from conventional buffer ordinances in that it exempts urban format buildings with shallow setbacks, continuous street frontage, and storefront windows. The ordinance recognizes that street-oriented urban format buildings with awnings or arcades can provide a more interesting and comfortable streetscape to the pedestrian than vegetative buffers.
Landscaping: Previous Code
- 7.5% of property must be landscaped
- Trees optional between curb and sidewalk
- Frontage landscape buffer: 1 tree for every 50 feet within first 20 feet of property
- Required for every 1,000-square-feet in landscaped areas: 1 tree; 20 5-gallon shrubs; 10 1-gallon groundcover plants.
Landscaping: New Regulations
- 15% of property must be landscaped
- Trees required every 30 feet between curb and sidewalk
- Frontage landscape buffer: 10 foot area with landscaping and 1 tree for every 30 feet within first 20 feet of property
- Required for every 1,000-square-feet in landscaped areas: 2 trees; 40 5-gallon plant material; 20 1-gallon plant material.
- Only 10 percent of required landscaping can be palms
- Exempts urban format buildings from front and side buffer requirements
The Plan El Paso project is still underway and the Comprehensive Plan document is being written, yet City leadership is moving ahead with initiatives described in the plan.
For more information about Plan El Paso visit www.PlanElPaso.org